MANILA, January 4, 2012 – Today marks the one-month anniversary of the massive typhoon that struck the Philippines with devastating force, causing substantial loss of life as well as property and business damage in excess of $370 million. Just before dawn on December 4, 2012, typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) hit landfall in Mindanao in the southern part of the Philippines, with that island’s Davao region being the hardest hit. Total fatalities stand at 906 according to the most recent available government report.
Historically, Mindanao has been spared from disastrous typhoons. Since 1945 only 35 typhoons have made landfall in this island in a country that has an average of 20 storms a year. According to experts, Mindanao’s location close to the equator makes it less likely to be hit by storms or typhoons on a regular basis. The current storm’s trajectory may be due to the increasing threat of global warming that the world is said to be facing.
Last year, another storm names “Sendong” also wreaked havoc in the northern part of Mindanao and killed at least 1,268 people.
The main source of the economy of Mindanao is agriculture, due to its fertile land. The island also possesses rich and largely untapped energy and mineral resources. The devastation brought on by the recent typhoon has greatly affected agricultural sector of the region. But the Philippine government has stated that the growth rate of the sector will remain positive.
Typhoon Pablo destroyed about Php8.6 billion ($210.1 million) worth of agricultural products in the banana, corn and coconut plantations of the region. The effects of this damage are likely to be diminished at least somewhat, as the Philippine government has assured the farmers that they will help the affected farmers by distributing seeds and funds to help with the rehabilitation of their properties.
The damage brought about by the typhoon also prompted the United Nations to call for aid for the affected provinces amounting to $65 million to help survivors get back on their feet.
The Philippine government website issued a report on the effected of this disaster. This disaster also prompted Philippine president Benigno Aquino III to declare a State of National Calamity on December 7, 2012.
As of mid-December, the government’s latest list of casualties includes:
906 persons dead (with 575 identified)
2,660 persons injured
The cost of damage by typhoon Pablo is also listed on this site.
Current estimated total cost of damages is PhP15,116,602,128.05 ($370,051,396.77). That total includes:
PhP5,379,849,200.00 ($131,697,632.45) damages to infrastructure
PhP9,696,793,515.05 ($237,375,565.89) to agriculture
PhP48,959,413.00 ($1,198,516.64) worth of damages to private property
USB Investment Research has stated that despite the damages to the region’s agricultural sector brought on by typhoon Pablo, there is still a positive outlook for the country’s final 2012 economic numbers, and the economy should still post a growth rate of 6.3 percent the year just concluded. This number will be aided by the good third quarter performance of the economy from July to September, which saw a 7.1 percent growth in the nation’s economy.
Social Media Humanitarianism
For all the damage wreaked by the recent typhoon, the disaster also demonstrated that social media has become a powerful tool today in the way that it lets people be aware what is happening as soon as it happens, as shown by concerned citizens in their individual Tweets. We close out this article with just a few. (Double click to enlarge):
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